The work of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme demonstrates the many ways in which public libraries are contributing to employment, through information services and by providing ICT skills training to equip people for today’s job-market.
Public libraries are also reaching out to especially marginalized and vulnerable people - for example, ‘Lyuben Karavelov’ Regional Library in Bulgaria builds confidence of unemployed people aged over 40 through a combination of counselling, employment information and ICT skills training; in Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan Oblast ‘Pushkin’ Library helps young people find work, start small businesses or improve their jobs; in South Africa, by providing careers counselling, free access to ICT and ICT training, Masiphumelele Public Library is helping guide poor and vulnerable youth into more secure futures.
What job-seekers say
“The library has changed my life because I am learning and I will get a certificate instead of just sitting at home doing nothing.” – Sikhumbuzo Tsobo, ICT trainee at Masiphumelele Public Library in Cape Town, South Africa.
“At the library, I learned how to advertise my skills on the internet and to create a website. I sent out resumes and looked for a job online. Fortune smiled on me!” - Kuanysh Dyusupov, successful job-seeker, who took part in East Kazakhstan Oblast ‘Pushkin’ Library’s ICT training, careers counselling and employment information project.
"Thanks to the library I am confident that I will complete my massage course. I am changing my profession, and I was not sure that I could become a true massage therapist. I did not know Braille and was not able to read the manuals. Now I believe in myself because listening to DAISY books helped me to understand a lot." – Erdenebat, 38, who lost his sight in a traffic accident, speaking about Ulaanbaatar Public Library's digital talking books service, which increases employability of visually impaired people in Mongolia by providing access to skills manuals and other educational material in digital audio format.
What government and employment support agencies say
“The library changed attitudes of the unemployed to job-hunting, and their trainees have qualities and skills that are valued by employers. Our cooperation with the library has been very useful. We will definitely support further activities!” – Sonya Kamenovska, Bulgarian Employment Agency, speaking about Lyuben Karavelov Municipal Public Library’s ICT training and employment information service for unemployed people aged over 40.